Group Wanting To Legalize Medical Marijuana Collects Signatures For November Ballot

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ARKANSAS (KFSM) -- A group wanting to legalize medical marijuana in Arkansas has collected enough signatures to get the proposal on the November ballot, but its goal is to collect thousands more.

The group Arkansans for Compassionate Care said volunteers have collected more than 68,000 signatures they need to put medical marijuana to a vote, through what they are calling the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act.

Northwest Arkansas Regional Director Julie Yell said the goal is 75,000 to 85,000 just in case some signatures are not valid.

“I have a feeling that we're going to end up with more than that,” Yell said. “Now that interest has generated toward the end of the campaign."

Another initiative to legalize medical marijuana called the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, led by Little Rock attorney David Couch, has just begun collecting signatures.

Jerry Cox is the executive director of the Family Council Action Committee, and is against both initiatives.

“This idea that you're just going to smoke medicine -- that's foolishness,” Cox said.

Couch said in an email to 5NEWS the biggest difference between his amendment and the act led by the ACC is that the act allows people to grow their own medical marijuana.

“It’s just a backdoor way for people to smoke as much as they want, people that are otherwise healthy,” he said. “It has nothing, really to do with sick people,” Cox said of both initiatives.

But Yell disagrees.

“We have been able to meet patients all across Arkansas who come to us with their stories and say, 'This is a medicine that I need, I am not a criminal; I deserve to have the same opportunity to medical care as the rest of the nation,’” she said.

Yell points out another difference between the act and the amendment: under the amendment, Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control would be involved in the medical marijuana distribution. She said she believes that is a conflict of interest.

But at the end of the day, Yell said she just wants to see medical marijuana legalized in the state.

"Arkansans are eager to be the next in line to do that,” she said.

The deadline to turn in signatures to the Secretary of State is the end of June.

Signing locations for the Act can be found at

According to Couch, people will be collecting signatures for the amendment in our area sometime next week, but locations have not been finalized yet.


  • objectivefodder

    I would want to believe there are many folks who are believers in Christianity who would accept the natural plant as a remedy. Modern day Religious leaders and Church members should know that the medical needs of their members are important. Anyone with ailments could benefit medicinally from the natural herb. After all, the great almighty placed it here for us to use, right? Jesus and the disciples healed people of skin diseases (Matthew 8, 10, 11; Mark 1; Luke 5, 7, 17), eye problems (John 9:6-15), and menstrual problems (Luke 8:43-48). For those who may be skeptical, consider (James 5:14) & (Mark 6:13) as well as Exodus (30:22-23). I’m not religious, but clearly, humanity’s Jewish ancestors who wrote “The Book” thought it was important to heal & mend people with such ointments and oils.

  • Mike Haring

    Legal Cannabis is a 23 billion dollar industry in the US. Another 10 or so states will legalize in November. The war on drugs has not stopped people from getting and using marijuana. Now, publications like Journal of Medicine regularly feature new findings. Cannabis is helping thousands of children with Seizures in Colorado. JAMA reported cannabis helps with Brain Cancer. And some of the newest findings show THC/CBD have a reversal effect on Lung Cancers. Aurora Children’s Hospital allows parents to administer Cannabis Oil to combat seizures, in the hospital.

    Mr Cox is a good person. Yet his true ignorance of the legalization efforts and success of Marijuana in treating a variety of illness should be in question. Colorado legalized and little if anything changed. Instead of buying illegally grown and imported from Mexican Cartels, it’s regulated, taxed and provides jobs. By 2020 Legal Cannabis will be a $100 Billion dollar industry. The rate of smoking ‘pot’ goes down after legalization, in favor of edibles and other forms of consumption. In Colorado, there was a 15% decline in chronic smokers after legalization. Once the obstacles are removed people can evaluate the reasons and impact for themselves. And many quit, or just become disinterested.

    Responsible regulation, sale and usage of marijuana is a far better solutions than, criminal penalty and the fear tactics Mr Cox employs. Marijuana is a gateway drug in Arkansas. Once you cross that of legality a whole world of illicit substances are in reach. In a poll of 5000 users, +-3.5%, 90% said legal Marijuana had caused their pot supplier to go out of business. Arkansas, people are going to get it and smoke. Prohibition doesn’t work and the 40 year war on drugs has killed hundreds of thousands, created billionaire cartels while not stopping anything.
    Legalize it and nothing will happen. Except, the economy will ramp up, housing prices and real estate will rise, tax receipts will flow in and there will actually be more regulation on Marijuana than you have presently. Legalization doesn’t mean less regulation, it means more.

  • truthreporter4u

    Don’t be fooled. Passing this would be the first step to legalizing Mary Jane for everyone. And allowing alcohol sales in all counties is another plot of the elitists who want the citizenry stoned and drunk while they pillage what’s left of their country.

    • M Nicole Morrow

      Ignorance at it’s bliss, they make more no ey keeping it illegal, so do drug cartels. You are only hurting people who honestly want cures and options other than chemo.

    • Jimmy Perry

      And? Im sure you don’t worry about your constitutional rights,do you? As long as prohibition is in effect you have no fourth amedment rights.Unwarened search and sezure goes on in this country everyday now.Do you want to continue living in a place that puts your safety second to law enforcement. Of course if you prefer being told what you can and can’t ingest,all for your own good,maybe you will like living in a cell.When they dis infranchise one group of people they look for others they can oppress.

    • Dale Worthington

      You seem to enjoy the status quo. Who do you get paid by? You are certainly spouting the kind of rhetoric that the majority of the idiots spew, when re-electing congressional ’employees’ who have an approval rate below cockroaches. I, for one, do not enjoy the crushing blow to our (and YOUR) rights, that we have to deal with, everytime you approve of a career politician, who continues to suck us dry. They get their p-aychecks signed by the same people the welfare recipients do: Taxpayers. But they seem to skate by, without being drug tested. Oh yes, many lawmakers at state level have been caught with weed, and having affairs, while claiming to be people of the ‘Right Values’. Pack it in, and report something Dr Sanjay Gupta said. Pick anything out of one of his Three WEED specials on CNN, and your approval rating may just rise out of the mud. Bud.

  • M Nicole Morrow

    Mr Cox is amazingly ignorant on the benefits and cures that cannabinoids have proven to provide. There is solid scientific evidence, even on the .gov site that cannabinoids cause apoptosis and kill breast cancer cells.
    Cannabinoids can be harvested from plants propagated with little to no THC. It does not have to be smoked.
    The THC, although also useful in pain relief, so much so that Monsanto backed Solvay pharmaceutical and subsidiary big pharmaceutical companies have manufactured synthetic THC, FDA approved legal everywhere by prescription, intact they made 10 forms of it so far…
    THC is the part that gets you high, and can provide pain relief …
    Interestingly enough they did not remanufacture the cannabinoids in cannabis, since it can cure cancer, eliminate seizures, they would be putting their cancer farm out of business!!!
    Oh, then there is the widely invested in prison system, privately owned, they are big money for investors… Decriminalization of a medicinal herb that has caused zero deaths, and saved many lives, would mean a big hit in so many big wig pockets.

    So, Mr Cox, if you are not capable of researching this on your own, I would be more than happy to sit down with you and show you how wrong you are!

  • libertarianminded

    Medical Marijuana will pass at some point now it has a really good chance anyway. Full legalization is eventually will happen in the usa. The USA was based on the Constitution not mob rule. It boils down to 3 things why it’s illegal medically or recreationally 1. misinformation or flat out lies and or propaganda. 2. Big Pharma it would lose the a lot of money. 3.stereotyping people that use it everyone that uses it must be a loser stoner that has no job tell that to Willie Nelson networth 25 million. And countless doctors lawyers business owners that smoke on the down low. If you really just hate pot fine don’t smoke it don’t be friends of people that due and mind you’re own business. And i’m sure people will avoid you as well but making laws against plant is stupid that can’t even hurt you . If you all really care about others ban alcohol tobacco prescription pills fast food guns hey why not rocks too???? where does it stop?.

  • Dale Worthington

    That ‘person’ from the Family Council Action Committee, is only saying what the government doesn’t want said. A backdoor way to do things, is precisely the way government has been chipping away at OUR (including HIS) rights, for generations. He has shown us his lack of compassion, and ignorance in this matter, about a plant GOD put here, and is not the “Devil’s Lettuce”, as the Devil created NOTHING on this earth, except maybe hypocrites like Jerry Cox.
    If he even had an inkling about science, or even tried to do ANY research AT ALL, he would understand better, what this plant is all about, and why is works so well, on so many illnesses and ailments. Take a long walk off a short pier, Jerry, because the new way of medicine, is going to make you look very foolish, sooner than you think.
    I feel sad for the congregations of families who are being misled by brainwashed pastors, who believe the misinformation that has been force-fed to everyone, by ignorant racists, for the past 70 years. C’mon people, they can’t even keep drugs out of prisons. Just look at news sites all over the internet, and you can find humdreds of stories where prison guards, sheriff’s deputies, and trusty prisoners are being busted behind bars, for smuggling in contraband, usually cell phones and the all ILLEGAL drugs. So stop fooling yourselves, and get behind the end of this war on US. Or someday, you may get a call telling you your loved one, or friend has been busted and/or swept up in a bust that happened at the same place your loved one was a visitor, passing by, or even incorrectly snitched on. Snitches DO LIE, people. Your kids are not immune from some jerk who wants to save their own skin.

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